The wife of a Philadelphia police officer is proving that police dogs don’t have to be expensive European imports.
Carol Skaziak, after seeing too many dogs languishing in shelters, started an organization called Throw Away Dogs.
Established two years ago and based outside Philadelphia, the program rescues neglected shelter dogs and works to rehabilitate and train them for police work like narcotics detection and patrolling.
Since beginning her work, nine out of 12 dogs she has rescued have been placed with police departments across the country.
“I pour my heart and soul into it and all I ask for these departments is to just give my dogs a chance,” she told NBC News.
Unlike most police dogs, who commonly are expensive purebreds purchased from Europe, these home-grown mutts are donated to departments in need.
Assisting her in the effort are K-9 handlers from area police departments.
The program puts the dogs through a three-month training period, and while not all will earn spots on police forces, Skaziak says all dogs that go through the program find a home — something they didn’t have before.
“I will follow through with every dog from start to finish. Not all dogs will make it through K-9 school and I am OK with that outcome. I will then find a perfect loving family for that dog that will love and treat them like part of their family. It’s just a different kind of badge they will be wearing,” she notes on the organization’s website.
While she doesn’t believe every dog can be trained to be a police dog, there are many in shelters who have the high play drive it takes for the job.
After a graduation ceremony this year, two “throwaway” dogs were placed with the Roanoke Police Department, and a third with the police department in Roanoke, Va.
Skaziak, who is married to a Philadelphia police traffic officer, came up with the idea for Throw Away Dogs in 2013, while doing public relations work for a shelter in Philadelphia.
“I was upset about it, because people were throwing these dogs away like trash,” Skaziak told the Roanoke Times.
(Photos: Officer Bill Tars and Throw Away Dog Kayos in Roanoke, by Heather Rosseau / The Roanoke Times)
Posted by John Woestendiek July 18th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, carol skaziak, dog, dogs, europe, imported, K-9, law enforcement, officers, pets, philadelphia, police, police dogs, rescue, roanoke, rocky mount, shelter, Throw Away Dogs, training, virginia
The bride was lovely. The groom, turning in his Baltimore Ravens uniform for a tux, was dashing. And the groom’s dog, a pit bull named Ace, walked down the aisle just as he was supposed to.
But when they learned Ace wouldn’t be allowed in the building, they changed plans, according to BaltimoreRavens.com.
“He’s awesome,” Heran said. “I just could not imagine getting married without him. He’s with us every day everywhere we go.”
They switched venues to 10 Light Street in downtown Baltimore and exchanged vows in an Under Armour Performance Center gym that had been festively decorated for the occasion.
Zuttah and the former Heran Haile met while in college at Rutgers and adopted Ace back then. They have long been advocates for dogs. Jeremy is one of many Ravens who have been involved with the city’s “Show Your Soft Side” campaign.
Though they live in Hoboken, N.J., they wanted to get married in Baltimore.
“We decided to get married in Baltimore because it’s been the headlines recently for not great things, which we think is a shame because the city is beautiful and the people are beautiful,” Heran said. “This is a great city that people should not knock down.”
After receiving some extra training at Baltimore’s Downtown Dog, Ace pulled off his role as groomsman perfectly.
Here’s a video snippet showing how well he did his job:
Posted by John Woestendiek July 13th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 10 light street, animals, baltimore, baltimore city hall, baltimore ravens, center, ceremony, dog, dogs, football, heran haile, husband, jeremy zuttah, nfl, pets, pit bull, ravens, Under Armour Performance Center, wedding, wife
When a veterinarian told a California dog owner that his suspicions were accurate, and his pet had indeed ingested methamphetamine, the owner turned down further treatment for the 10-year-old Chihuahua and left with his dog.
Given the dog, named Jack Sparrow, was in danger of dying, the vet contacted animal control, and the dog was seized from his owner to get the treatment he needed.
Police in Fontana said in a press release that Isaiah Nathaniel Sais walked into the Inland Valley Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Center in Upland on July 5.
A urine test confirmed that to be the case, but when vets informed Sais of that, and of the treatment needed, he walked out with his dog.
Because doctors had observed Jack suffering from convulsions and seizures and felt Jack’s life was in jeopardy, they called Fontana Animal Services, which sent officers to the home of Sais.
They seized the dog from the owner after observing he was still convulsing and living in neglectful conditions.
“There was the smell of urine in his fur and his nails were over-grown,” Jaime Simmons, of Fontana Animal Services, told KTLA.
Officers suspected Jack may have been kept indoors for months.
Jack was taken back to the vet’s office, where he continues to recover, and is expected to be transferred into a temporary foster home in the next few days.
The case was immediately submitted to the San Bernardino Animal Cruelty Task Force and an arrest warrant issued for the owner.
Sais was being held at the West Valley Detention Center in San Bernardino on a felony animal cruelty charge.
Posted by John Woestendiek July 12th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, california, chihuahua, dog, dogs, drugs, fontana, Inland Valley Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Center, jack sparrow, meth, methamphetamine, neglect, pets, veterinarian, veterinary
What if, in the interest of fair play, ads for movies were required to present an equal number of negative snippets to go along with all the positive ones they highlight?
It would go something like this:
“Stilted … clunky … manipulative” … The Hollywood Reporter
“Heavy handed… spottier than a kennel full of caged Dalmatians” …The Los Angeles Times
“Wow, why was this made and for whom and what the hell?” … RogerEbert.com
All of those disparaging comments — and very few superlatives — have been directed at the new movie “The Dog Lover.”
It’s a tricky little movie that starts out appearing as if it is going to be an expose of the unsavory practices of dog breeders.
What it actually is is a defense of breeders, financed by Forrest Lucas, oil tycoon and founder of Protect the Harvest — a pro-hunter organization and a staunch opponent of animal protection groups.
In other words, it is pretty close to propaganda — or maybe out and out propaganda — and, judging from the reviews, it’s not particularly artistic or creative propaganda.
Lucas is president and CEO of Lucas Oil Products. He campaigned against Missouri’s Proposition B, which was aimed at preventing cruelty to dogs in puppy mills.
And he makes no bones about what he thinks of some animal protection groups.
Lucas says he produced the movie to discourage people from supporting and donating to large animal rights organizations.
“They’re collecting money in the name of dog welfare, but there’s no welfare about them at all. They’re out there to make money,” Lucas said.
That, remember, comes from the CEO of a big oil company. (And if you can’t trust big oil companies, who can you trust?)
Of the movie, Lucas said, “I guarantee you everyone will have a tear. But they’ll walk out of here feeling good, saying ‘I get it now.'”
In the movie, idealistic college student Sara Gold (played by Allison Paige), becomes an undercover operative of the United Animal Protection Society, a fictional PETA-like organization.
Her assignment is to work undercover at a rural dog breeding operation run by the Holloway family, consisting of the handsome but gruff father Daniel (James Remar); true blue wife Liz (Lea Thompson); and hunky son Will (Jayson Blair), who, of course, becomes Sara’s romantic interest.
Sara starts off suspicious of the operation. What, for instance, is going on in that locked shed she’s not allowed to enter?
With her cell phone camera, she begins documenting what’s transpiring at the breeding operation — including the killing of a vicious dog that wandered onto the property and threatened Holloway’s daughter.
When Sara’s video footage of that event is passed on to the animal welfare agency, they manipulate it, and broadcast it, and all hell breaks loose.
The operation is shut down, charges are filed, and a trial is held — but as it all unfolds Sara realizes the family is doing nothing wrong; that they are gentle, and loving and treat their animals well.
The ruthless ones, it turns out, are those with the animal welfare agency, who will go to any means to achieve their goal.
Sara, as a result, finds herself turning against the overzealous animal protection group she works for and trying to prove the family’s innocence.
At the movie’s premier in downtown Springfield, Missouri — a state long considered a haven for puppy mills — there were some protesters, according to KSPR.
Of particular concern was the fact that, as part of the movie’s publicity campaign, an Australian shepherd puppy was being auctioned.
“The fact that we’re auctioning off this puppy, there’s nothing bad about that at all,” Lucas said. “So if that’s the best they can find, then we’re in pretty good shape.”
Clearly, he hasn’t read the reviews.
Posted by John Woestendiek July 11th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal rights, animal welfare, animals, breeders, dog, dogs, forrest lucas, hunting, lucas oil, media, missouri, movies, pets, propaganda, protect the harvest, the dog lover
To those of you who visit ohmidog! daily – as you are supposed to – we apologize for our recent interruption in services.
We were moving our corporate headquarters, and not a single person on our staff – from the president (me) to our director of tech support (me) to our janitor (me) – was able to get our Internet hooked up.
So in addition to not bringing you a dispatch on the 4th of July (which is a holiday after all), we failed to publish on the 5th, 6th, and 7th.
When it comes to moving, the best laid plans can get, well, mislaid.
The way it was supposed to work, after closing on the new condo a week ago Wednesday, was for some needed new flooring to be installed Thursday, and for the movers to move me in on Friday.
The carpet layers didn’t show up though, and after calling Empire (that number, in case the jingle has managed to escape your head, is 800-538-2300) I learned they weren’t going to arrive until about the same time the movers were supposed to on Friday.
I was able to reschedule the move for Sunday, which meant I had to reschedule my visit from the cable/Internet technician for Wednesday.
On top of all that, there were 48 visits to Home Depot — OK, maybe it was only three — to buy things that were the wrong size, and then return them, and then buy new things, and then return them.
The new place shortens my commute from about 12 paces to about four, and brings an end to a search that lasted so long my dog died in the process.
Ironic, because it was in large part for Ace, and his ever-stiffening hind legs, that I began seeking an affordable condo or townhome, where he and I could spend our old fartage – a place all on one floor, with no steps for him (or me) to climb to get in and out, with a little green space (mowed by others) to romp, in the event we felt up to romping. Above all, a dog friendly place.
When Ace died, I thought about calling off the search, but I’d realized by then that by owning, as opposed to renting, I could save money in the long run – assuming there is going to be long run.
I assumed Ace was going to have one, but he – an ultra large dog — died before age 12, of heart failure. His ashes sit about three feet from me, in my new little office – but some of them will be doing some traveling soon, because Ace loved to travel, and he had some favorite places.
Some of them will go back to Bethania, where we lived for three years, to be spread along the trail at Black Walnut Bottoms. Some may be going to the beach later this month. Some I think I’ll keep.
Absolutely, there will be a new dog. Soon. Give me time. Meanwhile, there are tons of dogs in my new neighborhood I can get my fix from, including five in the unit next door.
When selecting my carpet, I made a point of choosing a color that looked like it would hide most any color of dog hair. I opted for “oyster.”
So far, I’ve encountered only one downside to the new place. There’s a tree that overhangs my little back patio, and it drops thousands — and this time I’m not exaggerating — of little purple berries every day.
To the left, that’s about half a day’s worth. The berries fall on my head. The berries fall in my coffee. If you can identify them, let me know. I may have swallowed one or two, so I’m hoping they are not poisonous.
They get tracked into the house, and purple may be the one color that my oyster carpets can’t disguise.
My patio is also surrounded by bamboo, and I know I will have to regularly wield my machete to keep it from encroaching too far, but it does add some major serenity to my surroundings, especially when the wind rustles through it.
Those are trivial details, though, and I’m sure, between our janitor (me) and our assistant director of trivial details (me), we’ll figure something out.
So that’s the reason behind the absence, and I apologize for not providing a better explanation in advance — both here on ohmidog! and on my Facebook page, where I announced last week I was moving, but didn’t say where.
That kind of Internet teasing — popular as it is among websites — tends to drive people crazy, but I didn’t intend it that way. I try not to resort to cheap gimmicks like that.
Our return to daily-ness will resume next week, after I accomplish a little more decorating, and make a few more visits — assuming our director of procurement (me) approves — to Home Depot.
There is one other small life-changing development that began to take shape this week.
But I’ve got berries to sweep, so, not to be a tease or anything, I’ll have to wait and tell you about that next week.
Posted by John Woestendiek July 8th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, ashes, berries, bethania, dog, dogs, facebook, falling, internet, move, moving, moving day, north carolina, ohmidog!, pets, purple, townhome, website, winston-salem
Specially trained dogs have been alerting diabetics to decreases in their blood sugar levels for years now — but only now do scientists have a pretty good clue of how dogs are able to do it.
Researchers at the University of Cambridge say what the dogs are able to sniff out is a common chemical called isoprene, which is found on our breath.
Isoprene increases significantly — and sometimes almost doubles — during hypoglycemia.
Medical detection dogs wake up or alert their owners whenever their blood sugar level drops to the point of hypoglycemia, a condition that can cause shakiness, loss of consciousness, and, if untreated, death.
Using mass spectrometry, the scientists studied the breath of eight women with type 1 diabetes, noting changes in the chemical signatures of their exhalations when their blood sugar levels were lowered to the point of hypoglycemia.
The increased in isoprene is too subtle for humans to smell, but with the ability to detect odors at concentrations of around one part per trillion, dogs are able to sense it.
The scientists aren’t sure why isoprene increases as blood sugar levels drop, but they suspect it might be a byproduct of cholesterol.
Their findings were published in the July issue of the journal Diabetes Care.
The research could lead the way to developing medical sensors that replicate some of what diabetic alert dogs do, providing diabetics with an alternative to frequent blood testing, said lead researcher, Mark Evans.
“It’s our vision that a new breath test could at least partly – but ideally completely – replace the current finger-prick test, which is inconvenient and painful for patients, and relatively expensive to administer.”
Posted by John Woestendiek July 1st, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, blood sugar, breath, detection, diabetes, diabetic, diabetic alert dogs, dog, dogs, hypoglycemia, increased, isoprene, levels, medical, pets, research, science, scientists, sense, smell, sniff, university of cambridge
Hope looked like a whole different dog after her makeover by a groomer in Queens.
Turns out she was.
Not until she got home did Sandra Jaikissoon realize her prized 2-year-old shih tzu, Hope, didn’t just have a different haircut — but was a different dog.
She took Hope to be groomed at Puppy Land on Lefferts Boulevard on June 15.
When she got home, she realized she was given the wrong dog back. She took the dog back to Puppy Land, and the groomer insisted she was wrong — that the dog only looked different because of her shorter haircut.
Jaikissoon pointed out that Hope had a microchip, and the dog she’d been given did not; and that her dog had been altered, while the one she was given apparently had not been.
She ended up calling police. After they arrived, the groomer admitted there had been a mix up, and signed a statement to that effect.
The shop owner said he couldn’t remember who Hope had been given to, and was unable to provide a name or phone number.
He did, at least, provide her with photos from surveillance camera footage of the people who left with her dog.
When PIX11 tried tracking down the groomer, they found the business was closed and no one was home at his residence.
Jaikissoon is asking asking anyone whose shih tzu was groomed at Puppy Land on June 15th to check the dog for a microchip.
“We need her, we love her, we want her home,” she said.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 30th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, chip, different, dog, dogs, groomer, groomers, haircut, hope, identity, jamaica, microchip, mistaken, new york, pets, puppyland, queens, shih-tzu, wrong